RAISE Podcast: Unafraid of a Challenge, Jane DiFolco Parker

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Episode 32:

Unafraid of a Challenge

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Jane DiFolco Parker recently retired from Auburn after a 30+ year career in higher ed. She boasts an impressive record, single largest gift in history and she ran the most successful fundraising campaign to date ($1.2 billion). 

Auburn University has a tight knit culture and when she arrived, she had to determine how to encourage high performance but still maintain a family-like atmosphere. Jane thinks it’s critical to be tough but fair. She believes that goals should be clear and expectations clearly articulated  so teams can be held accountable. She also believes strongly in servant leadership. By focusing on the greater good and what we should be doing to advance the mission of the organization we are serving, we enable the people around us to achieve their greatest potential and elevate the organization as a whole. 

Her lesson for other leaders – be unafraid to challenge yourself, your donors and your staff. Ultimately philanthropists are facilitators tasked with leading donors to find their passion. You present the options and opportunities, then listen carefully and discern what resonates with them. 

That donor first focus helped Auburn raised a record breaking $202 million in a single year. Listen and check out the rest of the RAISE podcasts here

Jane DiFolco Parker

Former VP of Advancement
Auburn University

About Jane

Jane DiFolco Parker has contributed to institutional success from various levels of service during her 45-year higher education career.

For the last 25 years, Parker has led high-impact fundraising and operations in the university setting. Since March 2012, she has served as vice president for development at Auburn University, and as president of the Auburn University Foundation and the Auburn University Real Estate Foundation, Inc.

During her tenure, Auburn celebrated several record-setting fundraising years; launched the university’s largest campaign with a goal of $1 billion; and achieved this goal more than a year ahead of schedule, ultimately raising $1.2B.

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